The Lilium Jet by Lilium Air Mobility Featured in Graphis Journal #377

The Lilium Jet is one of the prettier small planes on the scene, but it’s far more than just a pretty face: It’s the world’s first electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) airplane. In fact, the FAA “issues G-1 for Lilium Jet, making Lilium the only eVTOL manufacturer with EASA and FAA certification basis for a powered lift eVTOL aircraft” (read more here). This means that like a helicopter, it needs no runway space to take off and land—so it’s perfect for densely developed and populated environments like cities.

With its all-electric engines, the jet releases zero operating emissions. And the interior is designed for flexibility: It can just as easily hold two seats for a luxury club-like ride, five seats for a passenger flight, or no seats at all for the newly burgeoning zero emissions cargo flight sector. Meanwhile, aerodynamic efficiency is another area where it shines. Its architecture features fixed wings, no tail, and the engines are embedded into the wing flaps, so there’s remarkably little drag—and a surprisingly low noise profile.

The genius of the jet lies in its truly innovative engineering. The rigid-winged body has 12 flaps in its wings, and each flap carries three electric jet engines. Depending on the flight mode, the flaps will tilt from vertical to horizontal and back. At takeoff, all flaps are vertical, so the engines lift the aircraft. Then once the jet is airborne, the flaps gradually tilt into a horizontal position, allowing for acceleration. Once they’re fully horizontal, the wings keep the jet aloft, just like on a conventional airplane.

The Lilium Jet’s visual elegance is not only informed, but allowed by the simplicity of the engineering. No gearboxes, foldable or variable pitch propellers, water-cooling, or aerodynamic steering flaps are needed, so the lines are largely clean and uninterrupted.

Brazilian airline Globe Air recently became the first commercial airline to place an order, for 12 jets that will each carry a pilot and six passengers. The price was reported to be in the range of $4.5 million per plane.

Learn more about the plane here.

To read more, preorder Journal #377 here and view the digital edition now.

Author: Graphis